A young girl has received a six-figure settlement of compensation for injuries she sustained after being bitten by a large dog.
On the 26th December 2011, Lauren Kelly and her friends were enjoying a game of “hunting the wren” in their town of Abbeylara in Co. Longford. However, as Lauren was playing a Rottweiler – that had escaped its owner’s property by jumping over a wall – attacked her.
Despite the intervention of her mother and friends, Lauren sustained twenty-six puncture wounds to her arms and neck. Onlookers later testified that Lauren had been “tossed around like a rag doll”, and it was only because of the intervention of others that she did not sustained graver injuries.
Lauren was rushed to hospital, where she was treated for the puncture wounds. The little girl also had a series of skin grafts to try and repair the damage, though now she still has over twenty scars on her arms. Even now, whilst engaging in some activities (such as swimming), Lauren is required to wear a specialised medical sleeve that prevents an infection developing.
Acting on their child’s behalf, Michael and Marcella Kelly made a claim for dog bite compensation against William Crawford, the Rottweiler’s owner. In their claim, they alleged that Crawford’s negligence stemmed from the fact that he had not undertaken adequate preventative measures to stop his animal from escaping.
Crawford initially denied that he was liable to pay the compensation settlement, though negotiations between the parties resulted in a settlement of €150,000. However, as the claim was made on behalf of a legal minor, the settlement had to be approved by a judge before it could be paid.
As such, the case proceeded to Dublin’s High Court, where Mr Justice Kevin Cross was told of Lauren’s injuries and their impacts. He then went on to approve the settlement, though added the condition that the sum should be kept in a court account until Lauren reached the age of eighteen.